Stock up, stock down: Mikael Samuelsson scoring, Matt Duchene falling
February, 11, 2011
By Scott Burnside | ESPN.com
Stock UpMikael Samuelsson, Vancouver Canucks: One of the question marks about the Canucks -- apart from whether they'll have enough defensemen to field a team from night to night -- is whether they have enough scoring depth to stay with the big boys in the Western Conference once the playoffs start. With Ryan Kesler having a breakout year and Mikael Samuelsson suddenly coming on strong, the answer seems to be an indisputable "yes." Samuelsson has shaken off a tepid first half and has points in five straight games (four goals, six assists) and six of seven.
Tomas Kaberle, Toronto Maple Leafs: It's not often that a Leaf ends up in the Stock Up category, but here's a nod to Toronto defenseman Tomas Kaberle who has six points in his past six games and is a plus-4 over that stretch. Kaberle's strong play has coincided with a mini-playoff push for a Leafs team that looked like a draft lottery team a few weeks ago. The playoffs likely aren't in the cards for Toronto, but Kaberle's play will certainly make the veteran more attractive as the Feb. 28 trade deadline closes in. After much to-ing and fro-ing the past couple of years about Kaberle's future or lack thereof in Toronto, it appears this will finally be the moment when Kaberle bids adieu to the blue and white for whom he's toiled his entire NHL career. Lots of suitors for his talents, now it's just a question of where he lands.
Stock DownTodd Bertuzzi, Detroit Red Wings: After providing important depth scoring last season when the injury-plagued Red Wings needed all hands on deck to make the playoffs, veteran Todd Bertuzzi's production has slowed this season. Bertuzzi had 18 goals a year ago but has just eight this season and just one goal in his past 14 games.
Matt Duchene, Colorado Avalanche: The bottom has fallen out on the high-flying Avs as they have lost seven of eight and fallen into a tie for 13th in the Western Conference. Injuries continue to plague the team and netminder Craig Anderson has returned from the team's current road trip for personal reasons. Rookie of the year nominee last season Matt Duchene has also seen his production slow of late as he has just one goal in his past seven games. The gifted forward has not scored a power-play goal in 18 outings.